Unexpected blessings are the flavor of life

Published 7:59 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

By Jan Penton-Miller

My lovely daughter, Melinda, and I hung up the phone after our usual morning chat, and the story she told me continued to meander through my brain as I sat down to write. Melinda was out late last night attending a performance by Tim Hawkins, a Christian comedian and musician. When sharing about the evening she practically gushed at what a great night it was.    

 “This guy was just hilarious! Dewayne and I could barely catch our breath. We laughed so hard. He is also a wonderful musician, but let me tell you about what happened during intermission…     

Email newsletter signup

 Mark Stuart, the original lead singer of the Christian rock group, Audio Adrenaline, gave his testimony. He was at the pinnacle of his ministry and career when something tragic happened to his voice. He developed an incurable voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. As his professional and personal life unraveled, Mark left the country and went to live near his parents who were missionaries in Haiti.     

The conditions were so poor where they were that many, many babies and children were either sold into some sort of situation or placed in overcrowded orphanages. A lot of these children eventually became involved in the sex trade through no fault of their own. Many mothers gave birth and dumped their newborns in a horrific place to die.     

Seventeen years ago a desperate young woman decided to give birth at a place where the child would fall to its death in an outdoor latrine with a 28 ft. drop. A young 14-year-old boy saw what was happening and ran for help.      

Long story short Mark Stuart adopted the baby, a girl, and now she lives in Tennessee with her loving family. She is so grateful that her father was in the right place at the right time. The beautiful young lady accepted Christ at the age of 14, and allowed her dad to share their powerful story of God’s grace and mercy surrounding her birth.     

Her life was saved because of something that detoured her dad. He thought God was not hearing and answering his prayers because he couldn’t see the bigger picture. A young life needed saving, and he would have been in the states making music if he still had his voice. What seemed to be an unfortunate detour was actually moving him to an opportunity to hear the voiceless cry of a baby in need of a chance at life. Mark and his wife completed their family with the adoption of a son, also originally from Haiti.    

 My pastor preached a magnificent sermon this week. I know I say that a lot, but it was so touching. He spoke about waiting on God’s timing and being patient. Mark Stuart could have given in to self pity, and railed at God for taking away his dreams, but by continuing to trust even though things didn’t make sense to him at the time he was right where God needed him to be.